|Photo by ElinorD|
Ever receive a gift you either already have, don’t want, or can’t possible use? Such was the case many years ago when my husband and I received a wedding present from one of my mother’s neighbors. The gift was a rather odd kitchen appliance that seemed to have very little practical application. So after writing a lovely thank-you note (after all, it’s the thought that counts, right?), we decided to exchange it. The gift was purchased through a private warehouse-buying club that seemed to sell nothing but similarly odd items. After wandering around the aisles for nearly an hour, we finally spied an ice cream maker. Now that we would use!
The ice cream maker was one step removed from the old-fashioned hand-cranking variety. It had an electric motor that did the cranking for you. However, it still required massive amounts of rock salt and hours of running time. Between the cost of the rock salt, the ingredients, and the electricity, the ice cream wound up costing two to three times more than if we bought the most expensive ice cream sold at our local supermarket. It was also next to impossible to make a batch without at least a little slurry of rock salt leaching into the ice cream compartment. After trying a few times, we finally gave up, and the ice cream maker sat on a shelf for years until we finally donated it to Goodwill.
Fast forward to a few months ago when I received a gift I already owned. This gift came from a shop that sold gourmet foods and high-end kitchenware and small appliances. Once again I wandered around the aisles, trying to decide on an exchange item. Can you guess what I bought? That’s right, an ice cream maker.
Ice cream makers have come a long way since I was married all those years ago. I also knew that if I wasn’t happy with the ice cream maker, I could bring it back to the store, no questions asked, something I couldn’t do with the one from the private warehouse club.
I’m happy to report that it was love at first try—no more rock salt, minimal expense, and a process that takes twenty minutes to create a batch of the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten.
Now, of course, the problem becomes limiting myself to an occasional treat to keep from packing on the pounds!
Basic Ice Cream Recipe
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 T. vanilla
pinch of salt
Whisk together wet ingredients. Slowly whisk in sugar and salt until dissolved. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
Turn on ice cream maker. Slowly pour in mixture. Process 20 minutes. Serve immediately for soft-serve. For harder ice cream, scoop into a plastic container and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.
Note: Make different flavors by blending in 1 cup chocolate chips, diced fruit, chopped nuts, fudge, caramel, etc. at the 15-minute mark and continue processing for the remaining 5 minutes.